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Chapter 6: Inferences
Rowena was sprawled on her back in the cold grass, with a small cluster of floating blue flames warming the air around her. Just few away was the lake, stretching out like a black abyss into the distance. She breathed a sigh, gazing up high at the stars that twinkled above her.
Ever since she was little, she’ had a fascination with the sky, especially with the stars. She’d never been quite taught how they worked in the magical world, as her education had been limited in things not pertaining to spell casting, potions and herbology. She was very eager to see what Helga could teach her about them.
While she stared upward, she smiled. She liked looking at the stars, wondering exactly what that meant about where she was. She always got the impression that there was a lot more to this world than where she was and the extension across the land…
At the moment, she was just peaceful. She was happy to be where she was. At the moment, she was content to just ignore the past, ignore what was happening behind her in the past. She didn’t let her head wander to thoughts of Helena and Daphne.
She sat up and looked at the lake. Then she looked behind her at the castle. The lights were on in Gryffindor’s tower, and other lights twinkled, but the windows were too far away for her to see inside, so she hoped they were too far away to see her as well. She stood carefully, reaching behind her to unlace the bodice of her dress. No longer tight, the dress’s front fell loosely away from her. She pulled it away from herself gently, and sighed, sliding out of the many layers of her dress until she stood there in nothing.
Leaving her dress in an empty pile behind her, she carried her wand with her as she tiptoed across the rocky shoreline to the water. It wasn’t as cold as it looked when it splashed gently at the tips of her toes. She stepped one foot in, then another, and waded in until she was up to her waist. She kept her wand ready, waiting to fight off any of the mysterious lake creatures. For the moment, the entire thing was perfectly smooth and clear, like liquid ink. It was a mirror image of an indigo sky, with a small sliver of moon reflected in it, as well as most of the stars.
She waved her wand, giving herself a bubblehead charm and slipping beneath the water. She looked around gently, and saw little more than mounds of seaweed and a drop off that, had she walked a meter more, she would’ve found her feet out from underneath her, and nothing more than an expanse of dark fathoms beneath her.
She learned how to swim when she was younger. It was seen as a very unwomanly thing to do—coincidentally, an act of witch craft. But there had been a pond in the woods behind the house she grew up in. Her mother taught her how, she could remember. Her mother didn’t teach Daphne how, just Rowena. For some reason, she thought that her youngest would want to know and would someday need to know.
When she finally resurfaced she broke out of the water, finding it up to her third rib. She laughed lightly to herself, feeling for the first time the chill of the night air on her shoulders and back. For the first time in a long time, she felt like a young girl again.
“What’s funny?” a voice asked behind her.
She jumped and whirled, finding Godric Gryffindor, sitting on the bank, twirling his wand in his fingers. Watching her.
“What are you doing?” she demanded, instantly covering herself up. “My lord… what are you doing, Gryffindor! Get away! Get! This is hardly proper… my god!” She scurried toward the edge of the lake and her clothes and he laughed not moving. He still watched her. She dried herself with a wave of her wand and slipped into her dress. She had it half laced when she fired the first curse. It hit him in the face, giving him a slice above his eye, which spurted a little bit of blood.
“What are you doing?” he demanded, springing up to his feet and holding his wand out too.
“What… you are spying on me!” she screeched. “How… disgusting!”
She shot another silent curse, with didn’t cut but ached like a bee sting, right on his wand hand.
“Would you stop hexing me?” he demanded, shooting a shield charm into the air between them. She shot more spells, which didn’t rebound, but just died gently upon colliding with his force. She knew how to get around the shield but debated it, feeling as if she could ruin everything if she hurt him too badly.
“Why are you watching me?” she wondered, her voice still uncommonly high.
“You’re beautiful?” he offered.
She growled roughly and clenched her hand around her wand. Bright blue sparks flew out like a fountain. They scattered, and flew into the air, venting her anger that way while she glared at him. She wasn’t going to hurt him now, but if he took down the shield charm, she might think differently.
“Beautiful?” she repeated. “That isn’t an excuse. If I knew I was coming here to be spied on while swimming, then I might as well go home.”
“Will you go home?” he wondered, dropping the shield charm. She had to put her wand behind her back to prevent herself from knocking him backwards.
“No!” she said, her voice still a growl. She shot another arch of sparks into the sky and he replaced the shield charm.
Suddenly, two other figures were running out onto the lawn. Helga and Salazar both had their wands drawn, but lowered them on the sight of their two friends locked with little more than a vulnerable shield charm between them.
“What’s going on?” Sal demanded, going to stand by Godric’s shoulder.
“He was watching me swim!” Rowena screeched. “Without any clothes on, mind you!”
“He what?” Helga demanded. “Be grateful I don’t hex you myself, Gryffindor.”
She walked around behind Rowena and finished lacing her dress up the rest of the way.
“What are you trying to do, Godric?” Salazar demanded, grabbing his friend around the collar. “I know you are better than this… Come on, we’re going inside.”
Helga sighed next to Rowena, who was grumbling cuss words under her breath. She tapped her wand at her hair, drying it instantly.
“He’s usually not like this,” Helga murmured. “If he hadn’t been completely taken with you the first time he set eyes on you, he wouldn’t do this.’
“Excuse me?” Rowena said, looking at Helga abruptly.
“He thinks you’re the most beautiful and talented witch to ever grace this earth,” Helga informed her gently.
“Oh,” Rowena said softly. “Well he didn’t need to spy on me to tell me that. He could have just said something…”
“What do you think about him?” Helga questioned.
“I find him to be a—usually—extremely nice man,” Rowena replied as the two of them followed the men back to the castle.
Godric and Salazar headed into the kitchen.
“What were you thinking?” Sal demanded, shoving his friend into a chair by the fire.
“I wasn’t,” Godric replied, flicking his wand at the bowls and the pot of soup on the fire, so that a bowl was ladled out for him. He took it in his hands when it floated by through the air. Salazar sighed loudly.
“You could’ve ruined everything you’ve worked for, Godric,” he said, fixing Godric with his dark eyes.
“I know,” Godric said simply, blowing on a spoonful of soup.
“And you’re okay with that?”
Godric closed his eyes. “She’s so beautiful.”
“I think that’s hardly the point here, Godric,” Salazar said, anger starting to seep into his voice. “You are impulsive and irrational.”
Godric shook his head. “Sal, you have no idea.”
“Did Helga tell you something?” Sal wondered, crossing his arms.
“No,” Godric said. “I’ve inferred.”
“Oh so you’re making inferences now,” Sal said. “That’s always a good way to go.”
“If people didn’t make inferences, we’d never be able to find facts,” Godric replied.
Salazar rolled his eyes at that. He couldn’t stop himself. It was necessary.
“You can’t just watch a girl swim in the nude because you find her beautiful,” he informed his oldest friend. “I feel as if I’m teaching a child!”
“She’s wiped me of my senses and my rationality,” Godric declared. “Enchantress!”
“I believe that is what they call her, yes,” Sal said, kicking his chair back so that it was balancing on the back legs, almost near to tipping.
Godric took a hefty slurp of his soup. “Well what should I do about it?”
“Let fate guide the way,” Salazar replied simply, as if his answer wasn’t cryptic.
“Thank you for that selflessly delivered piece of advice,” Godric said, glaring at Salazar.
“It wouldn’t be necessary if you could keep your wits about you,” Salazar said.
“I’ll leave that to her, thanks,” Godric said. “She’s the bright one. I’m the…”
“One with a lot of nerve,” Salazar said.
“And what are you then?” Godric snapped, looking sideways at him.
“I don’t know,” Salazar. “Helga and I are here to balance out you too, I think.”
“You’re shrewd,” Godric said.
“Shrewd…” Salazar said. “I hate that word.”
“Well it’s good if you’re going to help found my school,” Godric said.
“Your school eh?” Salazar said. ‘I’d recommend you start realizing it’s all of our school.”
Godric sighed. His friend had a point. He wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the rest of them. He levitated his bowl and proceeded to rub his hands over his face. He felt something warm and sticky, and realized that the gash above his eye was still bleeding. Grumbling, he flicked his wand at it, causing the wound to heal and the blood to disappear.
“You’re lucky that’s all she gave you,” Helga said from behind them, entering into the kitchen while braiding her hair gently behind her. Salazar instantly gave her his chair and drew his own from the other side of the room. Godric rolled his eyes. Sal wasn’t usually so chivalrous. That was usually Godric’s job—flattering women, with it, for the most part.
“She’s not very happy with you,” Helga said, tying her hair gently with a silken yellow ribbon.
“Of course she’ snot,” Godric said. “She’s not usually happy.”
“She’s happier, I think, here than she has ever been,” Helga murmured.
“Right,” Godric said. “It’s best I not ruin that then.”
“Yes, I would think so,” she agreed.
“Where is she now?” Godric wondered, rising. “I should apologize.”
“She’s taking a bath,” Helga said. “I don’t think this would be the best time to go an apologize. It might make things worse.”
“Oh,” Godric said, sitting back down in the chair. “Right.”
“She’ll forgive you,” Helga said.
“Do you know that for certain?” Godric wondered.
“Yes, I just looked,’ Helga said.
Godric nodded. ‘If only I could know if our futures overlapped more than that…” He looked hopefully sideways at Helga. She pursed her lips.
“Why can you people not leave anything left unknown?” she demanded.
“Because we have a more than able seer sitting right with us who knows the unknown and might as well not withhold,” Godric said.
“Why can’t Helga keep some things secret?” Salazar wondered.
“You’re just too afraid that the future doesn’t have what you want it to,” Godric accused him.
“And you’re not?” Sal demanded.
“No! I can handle it! I am not worried.”
“Well perhaps you should be,” Salazar said. ‘What if she knew something horrible, something awful was going to happen.”
“Better to be prepared than caught off guard,” Godric said.
“But would you want to waste the rest of your life in fear of the moment when that something was to come?” Salazar wondered.
“I do not fear,” Godric said. “I am not afraid.”
“But you are foolish,” Salazar said, standing up from his chair and whisking out of the room. Helga sighed, her gaze settling on Godric for a moment, before she too rose and followed after Salazar.
A/N: Please review everyone! It pleases me deeply. I know a lot of this is fluff and some of the chapters before are a little dull, but honestly, I'd like to hear it from all of you instead of making my own inferences. I have twenty-four chapters and I want to know if they're worth posting!! Thanks C.